Boys hockey captains prepare to bring back gold

The varsity boys hockey team has a long road ahead of them on their trek back to “the X”, but things are looking up. Last year the team got the school record by finishing fourth in state. The team last year, consisted of mostly juniors and six seniors, which means majority of the team is back and hungry to do even better.

The varsity team is led by two of the strongest hockey players Stillwater Hockey has ever seen. The captains are senior Noah Cates and Luke Manning. Not only are they great players and great leaders but they will do everything in their power to get their team back to “the X” to win the championship.

The team last year accomplished more than any team before them, and there weren’t many seniors who left last year, which means the team is seasoned and now ready to go head to head with their unfinished business. The team lost a couple of players who contributed a lot, but most believe they will be replaced by players who will help them achieve the goal of a state championship.

Cates is ready to do whatever it takes to bring home the gold. “I think there is some unfinished business for the team this year. There will be a chip on our shoulder and this team has some experience together and playing in big games. So yeah. Winning the championship is our goal.” Cates said.

This group of high schoolers has made it farther then any other Stillwater team before them. Since the day they put on their skates, they have played together and together they have succeeded many times, but the one thing they have not done is won a state championship. No boys hockey team from Stillwater has ever won the state championship.

Manning is excited for the possibilities  the team has this year. “Having so many guys play in the tourney last year, I think we gained a lot of experience from that which should help going into the playoffs this year.” Manning said. “That along with the skill and depth we have, I think we should have a better run than last year.”

I think this team is as strong as last year, maybe better, it’s always tough a lot of things have to come into place.”

— Pete Hamilton

The head coach is Matt Doman and the assistants are Scott Bjugstad, Pete Hamilton and Phil Fox. All of these coaches played at the collegiate level or higher so they know what it’s like to play at the high levels and in big games.

Assistant Coach Pete Hamilton said, “I think this team is as strong as last year, maybe better. It’s always tough a lot of things have to come into place.” Hamilton thinks this team has a strong chance to do great things, but like he said a lot of things have to come into place.

“The boys varsity hockey team is expected to do great this year. If we don’t, we will fail. I think I can speak for the whole team in saying that we don’t expect anything less then a state title at the end of the year.” Manning said.